Since finding out that Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was in a car accident late last week, we’ve been waiting for the update, as to his injuries and how serious they are or aren’t? Now, it looks like the news is potentially really bad for the player and for the team.
This after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Tuesday afternoon that Pierre-Paul suffered a neck fracture in the one-car accident in South Florida last week:
Tampa DE Jason Pierre Paul suffered a potential season-ending fractured neck injury in a single-car accident last week in south Florida, league sources tell ESPN. Pierre-Paul will visit neck specialists this week to get their opinions to see if there’s hope to save this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 7, 2019
While Schefter qualified in his report the Pierre-Paul is seeing next specialists “to see if there’s hope to save the season,” the fact that it’s a fracture brings in scenarios involving possible surgery and long recovery time.
This is a potentially devastating blow to the Bucs pass rush, as Pierre-Paul led them in sacks a year ago with 12.5, becoming the first Buccaneer to register double-digit sacks in a single season in over a decade.
TMZ broke the story last Thursday night that the 30 year old Buccaneers defensive end had a wreck around 5 a.m. that day involving his SUV, and was taken to a local hospital later Thursday morning. There was a yet to be identified passenger with Pierre-Paul, and that person’s condition is also unknown.
The gossip website further reported that Pierre-Paul was not speeding nor believed to have done anything illegal. TMZ further reported that Pierre-Paul was released from the hospital later on Thursday.
The Buccaneers confirmed through GM Jason Licht later on Thursday night that Pierre-Paul had been in a car crash and that they were looking into it more:
“We have been informed that Jason was involved in a one-car accident early this morning in South Florida in which he was not cited. We know that he was evaluated at a local hospital and has since been released. Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of Jason and his passenger. We have been in contact with Jason and will be getting him further evaluated by our medical staff in the near future.”
In addition to his sacks, Pierre-Paul had an additional 16 tackles-for-loss and 20 more quarterback hits. He was one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFC and was named as an alternate to the Pro Bowl despite the Bucs 5 – 11 record.
Pierre-Paul is about to enter the third of a four-year deal that has already paid him over $34 million. This season he is slated to make $14.9 million with more than half of that now having been guaranteed, as a roster bonus from back on March 17th.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero also reported Tuesday that Pierre-Paul is seeing a second specialist this week:
#Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul is getting a second opinion on the neck injury he suffered in a car accident last Thursday, source said (as @AdamSchefter said). GM Jason Licht's statement last week described it as a single-car accident in which JPP was not cited.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 7, 2019
The Bucs commented via Licht, again, later Tuesday afternoon, but it offered very little:
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht statement regarding Jason Pierre-Paul.https://t.co/O6svuVxLru
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) May 7, 2019
“As we stated last week following the news of Jason’s auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger. While Jason was treated and released in south Florida the same day of the accident, we wanted to ensure that our medical team had an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation here in Tampa, and that process is currently ongoing.”
So, no confirmation of the injury or the prognosis, if there’s surgery, as of yet.
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